There was a smorgasbord of Rugby League action on in Canberra on Saturday, with the triple header at GIO Stadium and the Canberra Raiders Junior Representative teams both playing out at Raiders Belconnen.
SG Ball saw their winning start to the season come to an end, while Harold Matthews managed to hang on against a fast finishing Western Suburbs Magpies.
Western Suburbs 52 (J Scott 3, H Leuea 2, C Brabender 2,T Angel, D Loapo tries; Leuea 6, J Tautaiolefua 2 goals) Canberra 30 (D Spencer 2, D Clark, D Keir, M Lyons tries; S Ketia-Opo 5 goals)
SG Ball suffered their first loss of the season, as Western Suburbs brought up a half century of points in their 52-30 win.
“This was easily our worst performance of the season. It’s a timely reminder that we need to keep working hard on all aspects of our game, as a team and as individuals. Poor possession and too many penalties led to us conceding 52 points - that makes it virtually impossible to win,” Head Coach Dean Souter said.
“In saying that, the boys showed some good fighting spirit to grind themselves back into the game after trailing 28-6 at half time.
"By mid-way through the second half we managed to get in front 30-28 after some consistent ball control and a healthy possession rate. Unfortunately we couldn’t keep that momentum and lost the game.
“We now go and look hard at ourselves and make the necessary adjustments, as a team we get to find out more about our group when things aren’t going our way. Setbacks in football happen all the time, what happens next is what’s important.”
The loss drops the Raiders out of the top four ahead of next week’s clash with Balmain.
Canberra 34 (J Roberts 2, K Jensen, L Eveston, J Church, M Dragisic tries; Jensen 4, Dragisic goals) def Western Suburbs 32 (R Ngati 2, C Oitmann 2, T Harding 2 tries; Harding 4 goals)
Harold Matthews have secured their second win for the season, squeaking past the Magpies by two points for a 34-32 win.
"Getting the two points was the most important thing for us. We managed to build an 18 point lead early on in the game before letting the Magpies back into it," Head Coach Adam Kyle said.
"The team struggled to stay focused for the whole match, which was hard in the heat. A few lapses in concentration almost cost us the game, which we should have closed out earlier on.
"The boys showed what they were capable of in short periods, it's just working on making sure we can hold that focus and intensity for the full match."
The Raiders now have two wins, one draw and one loss in season 2016, the same record as the Balmain Tigers, who they face in round five.
Saturday, 12th March
Harold Matthews: Balmain Tigers v Canberra Raiders, Leichardt Oval, 12.00pm
SG Ball: Balmain Tigers v Canberra Raiders, Leichardt Oval, 1.30pm